Welcoming Languages: Including a Refugee Language in Scottish Education

The Welcoming Languages project explores the inclusion of a ‘refugee language’ in Scottish education as a way to enact the idea of ‘integration as a two-way process’ that is at the heart of the New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy (Scottish Government, 2018). We do this by offering a tailored Arabic language course for total beginners to education staff in Scottish primary schools.

Arabic is a language spoken by a large number of children and families who make their Scotland their home (i.e. the ‘New Scots’). It is also the language for which we designed and developed the Online Arabic from Palestine, a beginner course that we completed in 2018 as part of the Impact of Language project, a collaboration between that the School of Education (University of Glasgow) and the Arabic Center (Islamic  University of Gaza).

The Welcoming Languages project believes that, by learning some simple language useful in a school setting, education staff can make Arabic speaking children and parents/carers feel welcome, to see that their language is valued and that education staff are willing to make the effort to move ‘towards’ them.

We aim, through this project, to show that it is possible to make space in Scottish education for the many languages that New Scots bring with them and to give a space in Scottish schools to a greater number of languages that include those of the people who chose Scotland as their new home.

PI and Co-Is - International Collaborators

PI: Giovanna Fassetta (University of Glasgow, School of Education)

Co-Is: Maria Grazia ImperialeLavinia Hirsu (University of Glasgow, School of Education)

International Co-I: Nazmi Al-Masri (Islamic University of Gaza)

Start and End date

5 January 2022 – 4 January 2023

Funder and Funding amount



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